The Letscherts aren’t simply updating the old formula and taking the first Bio-Oil off the market, though. Instead, they’re adding the natural option to the roster while keeping original Bio-Oil around as a way to meet consumers where they’re at while still celebrating the efficacy of the debut formula. The brothers say neither product is inherently “better,” no matter what the clean beauty-obsessed among us would have you think. “It’s the preference of the user which product they prefer,” the brothers share with Allure via email. “Some factors include if they prefer all-natural products or if they prefer products with a natural fragrance.”
I tested both Bio-Oil formulations at the same time and found them nearly indistinguishable from each other, texture- and results-wise. (That isn’t always the case with natural products.) Both worked seamlessly into my beauty routine as a non-greasy body moisturizer, especially for my dry, ashy legs after a winter inside with sweatpants.
The only major giveaways of their differences were their scents and shades. Personally, I prefer the original’s fragrance, which reminds me of rosewater and baby powder. The natural formula has more of an earthy-meets-baby powder smell due to the addition of patchouli essential oil. As for the hues, colorants in the original formula give it an orange tint, and the natural option is colorant-free with a subtle yellow shade from the oils themselves.
Like Bio-Oil’s debut product, the new launch is also safe for those who are expecting, confirms Corey L. Hartman, board-certified dermatologist and founder of Skin Wellness Dermatology in Birmingham, Alabama. “In general, most oils are safe and beneficial for a rapidly expanding belly to prevent stretch marks and to help the skin expand in a safe manner that will not cause disfigurement,” he says.
Alicia Robbins, an ob-gyn at Westmed Medical Group in Westchester, New York, also reviewed the new, natural ingredient list for Allure and agrees with Hartman that the oil appears safe for pregnant folks. “Many [people] experience dry, itchy skin or more skin sensitivity in pregnancy,” she says. “For my patients with sensitive skin, I usually recommend avoiding strongly scented creams or lotions, as well as creams with parabens or sulfates.” The fragrance-free Bio-Oil (Natural) certainly fits the bill.
However, keep in mind that no product can work miracles to remove stretch marks, Robbins points out. “[Bio-Oil] may help with stretch marks, but, in general, stretch marks result from a combination of one’s inherited genes and how much the belly is stretched in pregnancy,” she explains. “Therefore, there may not be much one can do to prevent stretch marks if you are genetically predisposed to them.”
Regardless, for $23 on amazon.com, a rich, luxurious oil is always a good idea for keeping skin nourished and happy — whether you’re pregnant or not.
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